Synthesis of nanocrystalline material by sputtering and laser ablation at low temperatures
Physical vapor deposition techniques such as sputtering and laser ablation – which are very commonly used in thin film technology – appear to hold much promise for the synthesis of nanocrystalline thin films as well as loosely aggregated nanoparticles. We present a systematic study of the process parameters that facilitate the growth of nanocrystalline metals and oxides. The systems studied include TiO2, ZnO, γ-Al2O3, Cu2O, Ag and Cu. The mean particle size and crystallographic orientation are influenced mainly by the sputtering power, the substrate temperature and the nature, pressure and flow rate of the sputtering gas. In general, nanocrystalline thin films were formed at or close to 300 K, while loosely adhering nanoparticles were deposited at lower temperatures.
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